Diamondqueen and I spent our last day in Gettysburg making the rounds of things we still wanted to do. We started with breakfast at Dunlap’s, a local family restaurant, then made our way to Big Round Top. I’d said I really wanted to try to climb to the top, something I’ve never done before.
Understand that you don’t start at the very base of the big hill; the path begins at the parking area about halfway up. Still, it was a steep climb of about .4 miles, a challenge for me since I usually don’t try to climb anything too long and steep. I took a few breaks along the wooded path, resting on boulders as I went, and finally reached the top. As expected, it offered a gorgeous view.
After we came back down, I said I’d always wanted to see the Cashtown Inn. I wasn’t sure where it was except west of Gettysburg, so we drove across “the Valley,” a gorgeous drive (although Diamondqueen was less than enthusiastic, especially since I didn’t know where I was going). There were ancient farms around every curve, with those stone houses I love and grand old barns. The yards were overflowing with daffodils and tulips. Pear trees are still in bloom, the redbuds are out, and dogwoods are just starting to emerge. Of course, the fields were velvet blankets of green beneath purple-shadowed mountains. It’s a good thing there was no place safe to stop so I could take pictures; I would have wanted to halt every few yards, and Diamondqueen probably would have kicked me out of the van.
We did locate the Cashtown Inn at last. General Lee and the Confederate forces moved from the west past this establishment, a portion of which dates back to 1797.
We merged onto the newer section of the Chambersburg Pike, so we stopped at the little stone visitor’s center across from the General Buford and Reynolds monuments. We took our lives into our own hands getting across the highway for a closer look at this area, which is where the first cannon shot of the battle was fired.
I’d read about a monument at nearby Oak Ridge that included the figure of a small dog named Sallie at its base. Since Diamondqueen and I are both such dog lovers, we located the monument with Sallie, mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. At Gettysburg, even though the Union forces retreated, she refused to leave the dead of her regiment. Read about Sallie here for the complete story–it’s worth the trouble.
We returned then to the Tillie Pierce House to park so we could walk up to the “souvenir shop” area to nose around. Didn’t see anything worth buying, but it was fun to look. We decided to split one more sandwich at the Springhouse Tavern–delicious non-fast food.
Back to the inn then to rest, watch television, do some needlework. Around six we rode out to the battlefield for a visit to the Trostle Farm, which features my favorite Gettysburg barn:
We also walked down to Meade’s headquarter, another of my favorite spots. We decided on one last visit to the triangular field to try to bring up the gun sounds we heard the other night, but we failed.
Our last planned visit was to the cavalry field east of Gettysburg. It was going on eight o’clock and getting dark, but we got out of the van and walked around anyhow. I was up on the road strolling around when I heard Diamondqueen call from far back in one of the fields. I hurried back there and she said, “It’s doing it again.” Sure enough, loud blasts were coming from her phone. She’d just taken this picture of a monument and said, “Okay, this is your last chance!” when the noise started:
I took another video there and again in the van–Diamondqueen left the device on and the artillery sounds never let up. This started making us suspicious once we’d reached Route 30 again and turned into a Wendy’s. Diamondqueen took the phone inside and kept the volume on low just so we could see what would happen. The noises never stopped, so we’re feeling a little dubious now, although we still don’t have an explanation. Some astute techie may be able to explain this for us someday. (I’ll post all these videos when I get home.)
Back at the inn, I’m finishing up my blog post and getting ready for bed. Diamondqueen wants to set out by 8:30 a.m.–it’s a long drive home. This has been a wonderful, dream vacation trip, but we’re both very ready to come back home.